Man killed in Boone road rage shooting was a father to a newborn, family says

BOONE, N.C. — Channel 9 has learned a road rage case in Boone ended with a father of a newborn being shot and killed.

On Tuesday, Channel 9′s Dave Faherty learned friends have left candles along Highway 321 in Boone near where Justin Newberry died.

Police confirmed for the first time Tuesday that Newberry was not armed when he was shot and killed.

The Boone police chief told Faherty that investigators will present their case to the district attorney Wednesday.

The shooting happened feet away from one of the busiest intersections in town in what’s being described as a case of road rage.

Kenny and Rhonda Newberry still can’t believe their son is gone; he was shot and killed in Boone one week after becoming a father. His girlfriend was driving their SUV with their newborn daughter also on board and said another driver cut them off and words were exchanged.

Police said the other driver shot Justin Newberry. His mother, Rhonda, said she rushed to the scene and prayed for her son in the roadway.

“He had just been to see us within an hour before this happened,” she said. “He was grinning from ear to ear. He was so proud of her.”

Bennett Ricker works along Highway 321 and was on break when he said he saw Justin Newberry get out of his vehicle and approach a red SUV. He said Newberry reached through the driver side window, and that’s when Ricker said he heard two shots.

“The guy who got shot didn’t have a weapon on him but the driver did, a revolver of some sort,” Ricker said. “This is a small town, you never see stuff like that in a small town.”

Police documents Faherty found label the investigation as both a murder and “nonnegligent manslaughter.”

At this point, police aren’t identifying the other driver or discussing details of the case. The Newberrys said they are thankful for the support from the community and their church.

“They will never know how much this has meant to us and how healing that kind of stuff is,” Rhonda Newberry said.

They also believe police are doing a thorough investigation in the case.

“We’re willing to wait patiently for them to do what needs to be done and to take care of matters. That’s their responsibility, " Kenny Newberry said.

There’s no time table on when the district attorney could make a decision. Family members say instead of flowers, a trust fund has been set up at First Community Bank in Boone for the baby girl.

(WATCH BELOW: Person shoots into car in apparent road rage incident, similar shootings under investigation)